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Primera División

  • April 12, 2014
  • • 4:00 PM
  • • Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid
  • Referee: Juan Martínez Munuera
  • • Attendance: 65896
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La Liga Preview: Real Madrid - Almeria

Cristiano Ronaldo is sidelined with a hamstring injury, though the Portugal international is unlikely to be missed against the side sitting 19th in the table.

Real Madrid will have to do without Cristiano Ronaldo as it bids to remain in the Liga title hunt with victory over lowly Almeria.

The capital club - which sits third in the table, three points adrift of leader and neighbor Atletico Madrid and two behind archrival Barcelona - confirmed Thursday that Ronaldo has suffered a hamstring injury.

Although Real has put no time frame on its top scorer's return, reports suggest he will be sidelined for around two weeks - which would mean he will also miss next week's Copa del Rey final against Barca and the first leg of the Champions League semifinal against Bayern Munich.

Ronaldo, who has scored 45 goals in all competitions for Real this season, sat out last weekend's 4-0 win over Real Sociedad and the Champions League quarterfinal second leg at Borussia Dortmund with a knee injury.

A first-half brace from Marco Reus had Dortmund holding hopes of an improbable comeback following a 3-0 first-leg defeat in Spain, but Carlo Ancelotti's team held on to book a place in the last four alongside Atletico, Bayern Munich and Chelsea.

Following the game in Germany, Ancelotti indicated to Marca that Ronaldo would be ready to play against Almeria, but the Ballon d'Or holder's return has been delayed by another setback.

However, Real should still have far too much firepower for Francisco's 19th-placed side, which it beat 5-0 on the road back in November - with Ronaldo opening the scoring before being withdrawn because of a knock.

Nine unanswered goals against Rayo Vallecano and Sociedad have partially repaired the damage caused to Real's title charge by back-to-back defeats to Barca and Sevilla last month.

The title race is a world away from the issues Almeria faces, although the battle to stay in La Liga is even more condensed that the scrap for title glory.

Basement side Real Betis is somewhat cut adrift, eight points behind Francisco's team, but only four points separate 19th from 15th.

The Almeria squad will doubtlessly pay close attention to Friday’s meeting between Osasuna and Real Valladolid, with those clubs sitting 16th and 17th, respectively.

Next month's consecutive games against Betis and Granada are more likely to have a greater bearing on Almeria's fate than Saturday's daunting trip to the Bernabeu, where it was beaten 8-1 in its last Liga visit in May 2011.

The last of their three away league wins this season came at Betis in December, after which seven straight defeats on the road have followed.

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Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Real Madrid

Almería

Wins
5
0
0
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Real Madrid Club de Fútbol RMA
Real Madrid Club de Fútbol Real Madrid
Draw
UD Almería ALM
UD Almería Almería
90%

Top 3 Predictions

Real Madrid Club de Fútbol RMA
4 - 0
UD Almería ALM
Real Madrid Club de Fútbol RMA
3 - 0
UD Almería ALM
Real Madrid Club de Fútbol RMA
3 - 1
UD Almería ALM

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